Homeschooling: The Public Schools’ Invasive Species
JULY 30, 2013 by WENDY MCELROY
To government, homeschooling resembles a weed that spreads and resists control. To homeschooling parents, it is the flowering of knowledge and values within children who have been abandoned or betrayed by public schools. A great tension exists between the two perspectives. Homeschooling’s continued growth has only heightened it.
The federal government has reacted by attempting to increase its control over homeschooling, for example, by pushing for increased regulation of homeschool curricula. But the federal government is hindered by certain factors. For one thing, education is generally the prerogative of individual states. Nevertheless, the federal government can often impose its will by threatening to withhold federal funds from states that do not comply with its measures.
But homeschooling parents cannot be threatened by a withdrawal of money they don't receive. As it is, they are paying double. They pay taxes to support public schools from which they draw no benefit and they pay again in homeschooling money and in terms of lost opportunities such as the full-time employment of both parents. The “profit” they receive is a solid education for their children. What they want from the government is to be left alone.
The federal government is also hindered by not being able to play the “it's for the children” card that justifies so many intrusive policies. Homeschooled children routinely display better development than public school students.
A 2012 article in Education News called the “consistently high placement of homeschooled kids on standardized assessment exams ... one of the most celebrated benefits of homeschooling.” Education News compared the quality of homeschooling to that of public schooling. “Those who are independently educated typically score between the 65th and 89th percentile on such exams, while those attending traditional schools average on the 50th percentile. Furthermore, the achievement gaps, long plaguing school systems ... aren’t present in the homeschooling environment. There’s no difference in achievement between sexes, income levels, or race/ethnicity.” Studies also indicate that homeschooled children are better socialized with both peers and adults. Read The Full Story